These pictures were taken from the lower overlook on the Connector Bridge. There is an image for each month over the course of the Boardwalk's construction starting in July 2013. See you at the ribbon cutting on October 2nd at 11:30am!
DCNR Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan Public Meeting – October 7, 2014
DCNR is updating its strategic plan and we need to hear from Greater Philadelphia! Where should DCNR be making investments and building partnerships?
DCNR Grant Workshop – November 6, 2014
If you are thinking about applying for a grant from DCNR – you should attend! Learn about how the application process works and how to receive the best score possible.
What does the future hold for outdoor recreation in Pennsylvania? How will the state meet the demands of a growing and changing population, while maintaining and improving a vast and varied recreation infrastructure?
The PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and partners is in the process of updating Pennsylvania’s five-year outdoor recreation plan, and would like to hear what you think about the draft recommendations contained in the plan. Are we addressing your top recreation concerns and wishes? The feedback of those who live and work in urban areas is of particular importance in the development and implementation of the plan.
Please join representatives from DCNR for a public open house hosted by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society on Tuesday, October 7, from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the PHS Town Hall , 100 North 20th Street, first floor.
Stop by at 5 p.m. for some refreshments and a tour of the new PHS offices. DCNR will give a brief overview of the recreation plan at 5:30, and then invites you to visit five “priority stations” where you can learn more and provide your feedback.
Feel free to share this invitation with your staff, colleagues, board or members, as well as friends and family members of all ages. The more proponents of outdoor recreation that express their opinions, the better!
More information on the 2014-18 PA Outdoor Recreation Plan, including background and research findings, is available at www.paoutdoorrecplan.com.
The draft recommendations to be discussed at the public meeting will be posted on Oct. 6. Please RSVP by Friday, October 3rd.
Click here to register or call 215.988.1698.
Next to the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk, the project that most trail enthusiasts are waiting for to kick off is the much anticipated construction of the trail over Manayunk Bridge. The contractor responsible for the Manayunk Bridge trail job, AP Construction, has been working since July (when the Notice to Proceed was issued by the Philadelphia Streets Department) on pre-construction tasks.
Before construction can begin, AP needs to remove contaminated soil, demolish a portion of bridge over the Norfolk Southern lilne and coordinate with SEPTA on fencing and other matters. They are making progress on all three fronts. Once complete, with those logistics, they can start regular construction.
AP has opened their field office on Green Lane.
Here's an opportunity for those trail advocates who are working on a project that would benefit a K-8 school. We received this email from Safe Routes to School Partnership.
If you are working to make streets safer or to increase access to playgrounds and parks so that children and families in your community can have more opportunities for physical activity – we can help!
The Safe Routes to School National Partnership can assist your efforts to make your community a place where kids can easily be active and healthy. We are offering free technical assistance to successful applicants working in underserved communities on campaigns to obtain shared use agreements, Complete Streets policies, or other policies in support of walking, bicycling and Safe Routes to School.
Technical assistance can range from providing resources, to assisting with the creation of campaign plans and platforms, to developing communications strategies and coaching to ensure a successful campaign. Your plans can either be in the early stages or nearing policy adoption. Successful applicants will receive technical assistance over the next eight months.
How to Apply
Simply describe your community need in detail on the application form and our staff of experts will assess and work with each successful applicant to help you achieve your goals. Click here for more information.
Applications are due September 26th, 2014, by 5pm ET.
If you have any questions during the application process, please contact Mikaela Randolph, shared use campaign manager: .
Two Circuit trail segments are undergoing feasibility studies. Radnor Township is conducting the Forge to Refuge Trail (East and West) feasibility study and Plymouth Township/Montgomery County are jointly conducting the feasibility study for the Cross County Trail between Germantown Pike and Joshua Road. Both studies are contracted to Campbell Thomas & Company.
There are two upcoming meetings worth attending if you are interested in providing input on the alignment of these trails.
September 15th, 7pm - Forge to Refuge (East) - Bartram's Garden, Philadelphia
October 7th, 7pm - Cross County Trail - Greater Plymouth Community Center, 2910 Jolly Road, Plymouth Meeting, PA.
Are all trails in the Greater Philadelphia region part of the Circuit? Not necessarily. And not all trail segments that are on the Circuit web map are part of the Circuit. Those trail segments on the web map that are part of the Circuit are indicated so by the Circuit logo when scrolled over. In order to help clarify what makes a Circuit Trail, the Circuit Coalition steering committee adopted the following criteria.
Construction crews are finishing up the widening of the of the Cooper River Trail between Grove St and Colwell Ave in Cherry Hill.
The trail segment which connects Greenwald Memorial Park with Challenge Grove park was poorly marked and maintained. The pathway is now 10 feet wide and completes a walking loop between Haddonfield and Cherry Hill via the Evans Pond Dam and the sidewalk of Kings Highway.
In other news the County has a submitted a Transportation Alternatives proposal for bike lanes on North Park Drive between Route 130 andthe east end of Park Drive near the NJ TRANSIT/Conrail underpass. The proposal as written in the Cooper River Park Safe Access plan includes the first bike lanes in the region with a buffer on the right to prevent dooring. The conceptual plan also proposes for bike boxes at Cuthbert Blvd. Transportation Alternatives funds are competitive so there is no guarantee that money for the bike lanes would be awarded this year.
West of Route 130 a short section of trail funded by the Regional Trails Program is nearing design completion and should go out for bid sometime later this year or perhaps early 2015.
Thanks for speaking up! In June, we asked Circuit supporters to submit comment to the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission Board. The response was terrific! The Board received 218 comments in support of Circuit projects and more funding for the Circuit in future years. On July 24th, the DVRPC Board adopted the $10.5 Billion 2015-2018 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for Pennsylvania.
The final draft of the TIP now explicitly commits $1 Million in federal funds in FY18 for Circuit projects during the next selection round of projects for the Transportation Alternatives Program. While this is a good first step, the Circuit needs more funding in order to be built out by 2040.
More importantly, the TIP states that a PA Circuit Working Group has now been created "to better understand the relative status of all projects in the Circuit trail universe, set priorities, and be prepared to take advantage of funding opportunities when they arise." This group will "develop a collective understanding of which Circuit trail projects are ready for construction, the level of resources needed to complete those projects and potential sources of funding." This new commitment by DVRPC to proactively and strategically consider how to advance Circuit projects is an important step in the right direction.
A pdf of the TIP is here
A searchable map of the TIP projects is here.
Public comments and responses are not yet available, but are expected to be posted on the DVRPC website.
On Thursday, June 26th, the board of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Comission approved the awarding of federal "Transportation Alternatives Program" funding to three Circuit trail segments.
Here are some more details about what the awards will do for the Circuit.
Periodically, the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) issues a four year capital transportation budget (Transportation Improvement Program or TIP) for the five Pennsylvania counties. It provides detail on which transportation projects will be funded using a combination of federal, state and local dollars.
The Circuit Coalition has been urging the DVRPC to dedicate more funding to Circuit projects. In February 2014, the Circuit Coalition delivered 2000 postcards and petition signators who called for more funding of the Circuit.
The Draft Pennsylvania TIP does contain funding for nine Circuit trail projects. But, the amount of funding dedicated to those projects over a four year period is only 0.9% of the total TIP budget. DVRPC did commit an additional $1M toward the Circuit in Year 2018.
While DVRPC deserves to be commended for committing an additional funding toward the Circuit, we also need to encourage the region to make a larger investment in future years. There are 61 Circuit projects in the five Southeastern PA counties that need design and construction funding and many of them will need to be placed onto the TIP in the coming years. If the Circuit is going to be fully built out over the next 25 years, more funding needs to be dedicated for trail segments.
DVRPC is accepting public comments on the draft Pennsylvania TIP by June 30th. Please take a moment to submit a comment to DVRPC calling for additional funding in the future in order to successfully build out the Circuit by 2040.
Time flies by! In May 2012, we joined numerous other partners to launch this website and a new name for the region’s trail network: the Circuit. Two years later, we are pleased to produce a 2014 progress report (8 Facts to Know About the Circuit) on how the region is building out this remarkable trail network.
Here are some of the highlights contained in our progress report:
TIGER is a critical competitive federal grant program that helped build the Connector Bridge, the Schuylkill Banks boarkwalk, the SRT segment in Shawmont, the Port Richmond Trail, the SRT at Bartrams Garden, Walnut Street Bridge, 58th Street Greenway, and bike lanes in Camden. Now, the House Republicans want to ban biking/walking and transit projects from being eligible from TIGER funding.
If it weren't for TIGER, the Circuit would be back in the dark ages.
Tell your Congressman what you think of this brilliant idea by sending a quick email via our friends at Rails to Trails Conservancy.
And click through the photos of the progress being made on the Boardwalk since last summer to appreciate the magnificence of TIGER!
Earlier this week, the City of Philadelphia awarded a $4.1 million contract to A.P. Construction to build a multi-purpose trail on one of the Circuit’s hallmark segments: the Manayunk Bridge. This long-awaited project is finally moving into the construction phase. It will take six to eight weeks before construction actually begins and approximately one year for the project to be completed.
When complete, the Manayunk Bridge will be the first pedestrian/bicycle-only bridge crossing the Schuylkill River (Sullivan’s Bridge will join the crowd when it is completed in 2016). It will provide a much-needed connection between two riverfront communities (Lower Merion Township and Manayunk); open up an inactive railroad asset to the public and provide spectacular views of the Schuylkill River and Manayunk; and provide a new and important transportation option for students, employers and employees who live and work in LMT or Manayunk/Roxborough. Lastly, it will add considerable value to the Cynywd Heritage Trail and the Schuylkill River Trail by connecting them together. Ultimately, the trail will continue to the Ivy Ridge Station and, we hope, to Shawmont, where it will connect with the paved portion of the Schuylkill River Trail.
The project received funding from many sources: study and design funds were provided by Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the William Penn Foundation, plus the Regional Trail Fund administered by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. Capital funds were provided by the federal Congestion Mitigation Air Quality program ($204,000); state/federal funding from the Pennsylvania Community Transportation Initiative ($2,400,000), plus an additional $1,500,000 from PennDOT.
Many partners worked very hard to make this project possible. SEPTA, Lower Merion Township, Philadelphia Streets Department, Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities, Philadelphia’s Parks and Recreation, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, and several non-profits including the William Penn Foundation, the Bicycle Coalition of Greater Philadelphia, Schuylkill Project, Manayunk Dev. Corp and Pennsylvania Environmental Council. The trail design was conducted by Whitman Requardt and Associates and overseen by the Schuylkill Project.
What started as an idea by some passionate residents of Lower Merion and Manayunk in the mid-2000s is in the final stages of become real. Lots of people have ideas, but it’s usually up to some industrious worker bees to get stuff done. We can’t wait to take our first steps and ride on the bridge. It will undoubtedly be spectacular!
- First published at http://bicyclecoalition.org/manayunk-bridge-construction-start-soon/#sthash.OaDHwRnt.dpuf
In celebration of National Trail Month, the Pennsylvania Environmental Council will be hosting several guided trail rides during the month of June. Tickets for each event range from $10 to $18, depending on the particular event and time of purchase, and include a post-ride lunch. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit https://www.facebook.com/pecnationaltrailmonth.
Sunday June 8, 2014, 8:30 AM to 1 PM: Cooper River Trail Ride
Saturday, June 14, 2014, 10 AM to 2 PM: Schuylkill River Trail Ride
Saturday, June 21, 2014, 8:30 AM to 2 PM: 202 Parkway Trail Ride
Saturday, June 28, 2014, 10 AM to 1 PM: Cobbs Creek Trail Walk (on foot)
You can also explore the Circuit with the Bicycle Coalition during Trails Month on these two rides:
Friday, June 20th, Longest Day of the Year Ride
Saturday, June 29th, Petty's Island Ride
These two rides are Bicycle Coalition members only events. Not a member of the Bicycle Coalition? You can join for a special rate of $20 by registering for a ride.
More rides and walks are planned for August through November. Check them out here.
This weekend (June 7th and 8th) the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway in conjunction with Pocono Biking will be hosting bike train excursions between Jim Thorpe and White Haven. Dropping off bicyclists at the White Haven trailhead of the Delaware and Lehigh Trail for a 25 mile rail trail ride back to Jim Thorpe. There will be two departures each day at 10 AM and 2PM. Tickets and bike rentals can be secured with advanced reservation only. For more info go to http://poconobiking.com/trails/train-and-bike/
Pocono Biking has also expanded their bike shuttle service to include the Black Diamond and "Appalachian Trail" (Jim Thorpe to Cementon in Lehigh County) sections of the D&L. It is now possible during a weekend stay in Jim Thorpe to explore the entire 60 mile northern section of the D&L in the (slightly) downhill direction without riding out and back.
There are numerous lodgings in Jim Thorpe. Another outfitter in downtown Jim Thorpe, Blue Mountain Sports offers bike rentals and shuttles for the Lehigh Gorge as well as the more challenging Switchback Trail. Finally there is daily direct bus service between Jim Thorpe and Philadelphia via Susquehanna Trailways. You will want to a rent a bike if you choose the bus to avoid the hassle of boxing and unboxing your bike.
May and June: Secrets of the Schuylkill Boat Tour
May and June: Boat to Bartram's Garden
May 31: Walnut2Walnut Boat Race/Scavenger Hunt
May 31: Frankford Creek Cleanup
June 1: Cynwyd Heritage Trail Trot 5K
June 6: Pennypack Extension Groundbreaking
June 7: Schuylkill Sojourn
June 7: Schuylkill Shinding
June 8: Cooper River Trail Ride
June 8: Schuylkill Banks Kayak Tour
June 12: Schuylkill Banks Movie Night - Rocky
June 13: Spring Garden Street Greenway/Penn Street Tour & Happy Hour
June 14: Schuylkill River Trail Ride
June 17: Trail Tuesdays: Fuel Your Drive (Cynwyd Trail)
June 19: Schuylkill Banks Movie Night - Despicable Me 2
June 20: Longest Day of the Year Ride to Manayunk Solstice Fires
June 21: Cynwyd Trail Workday
June 21: Cresheim Trail Workday
June 21: 202 Parkway Ride
June 26: Schuylkill Banks Movie Night - Rushmore
June 28: Schuylkill Banks Kayak Tour
June 28: Cobbs Creek Trail Walk
June 29: Petty's Island Ride